GUELPH, ON, Jan. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Today is the official Canadian launch
of the International Year of Co-operatives. The Co-operators is
celebrating along with thousands of supporters of the co-operative and
credit union sector in every corner of the country. A national event in
Ottawa is being linked via live webcast to regional launches stretching
from St. John's, Newfoundland to Vancouver, British Columbia to
The United Nations proclaimed 2012 the International Year of
Co-operatives in recognition of the contributions the sector makes to
social and economic development around the world. This is reflected in
the theme Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World.
Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators, one of Canada's
largest financial co-operatives, and Canadian representative on the
Board of Directors of the International Co-operative Alliance,
addressed the national webcast from Calgary. Calling co-operatives a
"values-based alternative," she said, "in this era, when so many people
are dissatisfied with an economic system dominated by profit-driven
enterprises, the time has never been better for the promotion and
growth of the co-op model."
The Co-operators has contributed $150,000 to the Canadian Co-operative
Association to support activities throughout the year. An International
Year of Co-operatives flag-raising ceremony is taking place at The
Co-operators head office in Guelph, Ontario, where the standard will
fly for the duration of 2012. Celebrations are also being held at more
than a dozen other Co-operators locations across the country.
A co-operative is an organization owned by its members, who use its
services. Co-ops are democratically controlled on the basis of one
member/one vote, as opposed to the common shareholder principle of one
share/one vote. This ensures that the enterprise is responsive to the
people who comprise its membership, rather than to investors whose
interest is limited to maximizing profit.
Co-operatives in Canada date back 150 years, and today operate in
virtually every sector of the economy. There are more than 9,000
co-operatives in Canada with a combined $370 billion in assets,
providing employment to 155,000 people.
To watch today's live webcast at 12:30 EST, visit http://s.coop/canada2012live. And for more information about the sector and the International Year
of Co-operatives, please visit www.canada2012.coop.
About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with
more than $41 billion in assets under administration. Through its group
of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and
farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is
well known for its community involvement and its commitment to
sustainability. The Co-operators is ranked #1 among the 50 Best
Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights, and listed among the
50 Best Employers in Canada. As a proud member and supporter of the
co-operative sector, The Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The
International Year of Co-operatives. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.
SOURCE The Co-operators
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